Anything like the D3020 these days?

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
Hi,

Been looking for an upgrade to my D3020, just to up the power a bit. I use them on my desk in a nearfield setup. One of the main reasons I bought the D3020 was because it just looks great and is compact enough to sit happily on a desk - your standard amplifier demands half the desk and looks a damned eyesore.

I noticed that Bluesound has the Powernode 2 which seemed like a direct upgrade while keeping a neat form factor, but alas... first unit had a massive whining noise when powering up, and the second unit retains another issue of mine from the first one... the noise floor sucks. I can hear the hiss from my listening position, which is just unworkable. The D3020 was dead silent until your ear was against the tweeter, this thing... not so much.

Too bad, really. However, I've yet to find anything else in the Class D range which is just as compact as these two devices. I'm hoping you guys might know of any alternatives in a similar form factor?
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
2
0
For desktop I would consider active speakers then no amp on desk. You can get some pretty decent ones for the price of an NAD D3020.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,126
232
19,570
BigH said:
For desktop I would consider active speakers then no amp on desk. You can get some pretty decent ones for the price of an NAD D3020.
And then you need something to control the volume since the output from a pc should be fixed for best sq, when you have a cdplayer and even a turntable, than you need a preamp
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
2
0
gasolin said:
BigH said:
For desktop I would consider active speakers then no amp on desk. You can get some pretty decent ones for the price of an NAD D3020.
And then you need something to control the volume since the output from a pc should be fixed for best sq, when you have a cdplayer and even a turntable, than you need a preamp
Some actives have a remote with volume control. If not you can buy products like Genelec 9000A Stereo Volume Control for about £60.
 

knaithrover

Moderator
Nov 24, 2013
207
88
18,870
Audioengine A2 powered speakers are amazing value and sound like a half decent separates system. Check out online reviews.

That said the D3020 is pretty hard to beat for size functionality and sound
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
I already have KEF R300s that I happily use nearfield (on stands at each end of the desk), no point downgrading the entire setup just because of an amp.

Honestly, I was thinking of just a straight bump up the D7050 if there is still nothing that could beat it at what it does. I thought the Powernode 2 would have done that with some extra bells and whistles, but apparently, it's not for my sensitive younger ears or something, with that noise floor.

For those who are curious, I took recordings of the speaker hiss between the D3020 and the Powernode 2:

https://mega.nz/#!KpoByKrJ!e2c-K1CiXlS9XsfZYjsD4PrIx1aQTWYC4p_fACaD1mA
https://mega.nz/#!W15SgKja!jwUNoBlsbWBr3KsGnslF_KsqY5U3MGE_nFHmqLpzyY4

Might want to turn the volume up, I didn't normalise it or anything. In either case, the Powernode 2 is just... unworkable like this. A damn shame.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
If you listen nearfield sat in front of a computer you might find buying a more powerful amp is a waste of money. 25WRMS should be loud enough to make your ears bleed when sat within three feet of your 88dB/W speakers. And in any case, doubling the Wattage only makes the potential volume 3dB louder.
 

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
1,130
509
20,070
lc155 said:
Been looking for an upgrade to my D3020, just to up the power a bit. I use them on my desk in a nearfield setup. One of the main reasons I bought the D3020 was because it just looks great and is compact enough to sit happily on a desk - your standard amplifier demands half the desk and looks a damned eyesore.
https://www.richersounds.com/denon-pma30-sil.html
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,126
232
19,570
MajorFubar said:
If you listen nearfield sat in front of a computer you might find buying a more powerful amp is a waste of money. 25WRMS should be loud enough to make your ears bleed when sat within three feet of your 88dB/W speakers. And in any case, doubling the Wattage only makes the potential volume 3dB louder.
Noooot

Im not half deaf yet, my nad 3020i has around 30 watt in 8 ohm, i can easily play so loud as the amp can sitting at my pc where the music is just loud, in fact it's easy to get the volume so loud the amp distorts without being ear bleeding loud.

A little bit hard with my nad C316BEE V2 i have to make a little more efford to get it to distorts, it may be a bit louder but not a big difference.

My sound is pretty soft,musical but that shouldn't make a difference if the sound is ear bleeding loud or not.
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
MajorFubar said:
If you listen nearfield sat in front of a computer you might find buying a more powerful amp is a waste of money. 25WRMS should be loud enough to make your ears bleed when sat within three feet of your 88dB/W speakers. And in any case, doubling the Wattage only makes the potential volume 3dB louder.
Well, one of the reasons I wanted more power was also some more power for headphones. The D3020 has to be cranked really high up to drive some headphones and I'd like it if I didn't also need to plunk a headphone amp on the desk as well.

The powernode2 had a crapton of power (my ears were bleeding at <25% of the volume bar you're right) but it also had a headphone port which was perfect for an all in one solution that did literally everything. Too bad internally the design seems to suck.
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
jjbomber said:
lc155 said:
Been looking for an upgrade to my D3020, just to up the power a bit. I use them on my desk in a nearfield setup. One of the main reasons I bought the D3020 was because it just looks great and is compact enough to sit happily on a desk - your standard amplifier demands half the desk and looks a damned eyesore.
https://www.richersounds.com/denon-pma30-sil.html
The Denon seems to have even less power than the D3020, it would be a sidegrade at best.
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
jjbomber said:
lc155 said:
jjbomber said:
https://www.richersounds.com/denon-pma30-sil.html
The Denon seems to have even less power than the D3020, it would be a sidegrade at best.
There's the slighter more powerful brother, the PMA50.
This is actually confusing. It seems Denon recently discontinued the PMA-50, and there is a PMA-30 and PMA-60. The 60 is rated 50w at 4ohms and the 30 is rated 40w at 4ohms. Both are 25w at 8ohms.

The D3020 is 30w across everything, and seemingly punches way above 30w when it needs to. I do not know if the Denon is capable of that.

As for the D7050, afaik because it's a direct digital, the 50w rating is for 4-8ohms.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
gasolin said:
Noooot

Im not half deaf yet, my nad 3020i has around 30 watt in 8 ohm, i can easily play so loud as the amp can sitting at my pc where the music is just loud, in fact it's easy to get the volume so loud the amp distorts without being ear bleeding loud.

A little bit hard with my nad C316BEE V2 i have to make a little more efford to get it to distorts, it may be a bit louder but not a big difference.

My sound is pretty soft,musical but that shouldn't make a difference if the sound is ear bleeding loud or not.
When you're less than a meter away from eg 88dB/W speakers, it takes just 1W of power for them to be 88dB loud to your ears, which is about the same as standing ten meters or so from a pneumatic concrete breaker. Fair enough the 88dB/W often just applies to the loudness of a single test tone such as a sine wave at 1kHz, as opposed to full frequency range music, but still...

Now 25W is if course not 25x as loud as 1W: 10W is actually only twice as loud as 1W, and it would take 100W to be twice as loud again. However, 25W should still be uncomfortably loud for you when you're sat within three feet of a pair of efficient speakers.

Remember to treat your ears with respect, because you got them for life and there will be a time when you wished you'd taken more care of them.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
lc155 said:
Well, one of the reasons I wanted more power was also some more power for headphones. The D3020 has to be cranked really high up to drive some headphones and I'd like it if I didn't also need to plunk a headphone amp on the desk as well.
Right I get where you're coming from but you need to be careful. You cannot correlate the volume from the headphone socket to the rated Wattage of an amplifier. Commonly the socket is fed by its own little headphone amp board, cited near the socket and linked to the pre-amp section directly after the volume control. There's no guarantee that a D7050 (or anything else for that matter) would inherrently have a louder headphone socket. You would need to try it and see.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,126
232
19,570
Now 25W is if course not 25x as loud as 1W: 10W is actually only twice as loud as 1W, and it would take 100W to be twice as loud again. However, 25W should still be uncomfortably loud for you when you're sat within three feet of a pair of efficient speakers.

My speakers are not efficient
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
insider9 said:
What headphones are you using? I'm not sure if I missed your budget. Would PS Audio Sprout be within it?
HE400i/HD650.

I bought and tested a Powernode 2 and was considering a D7050 before I came here to fish for other options I may not have known about, so you can consider the budget that high. There isn't much above this price range that stays in a compact form factor I don't think to be honest.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,126
232
19,570
MajorFubar said:
gasolin said:
Noooot

Im not half deaf yet, my nad 3020i has around 30 watt in 8 ohm, i can easily play so loud as the amp can sitting at my pc where the music is just loud, in fact it's easy to get the volume so loud the amp distorts without being ear bleeding loud.

A little bit hard with my nad C316BEE V2 i have to make a little more efford to get it to distorts, it may be a bit louder but not a big difference.

My sound is pretty soft,musical but that shouldn't make a difference if the sound is ear bleeding loud or not.
When you're less than a meter away from eg 88dB/W speakers, it takes just 1W of power for them to be 88dB loud to your ears, which is about the same as standing ten meters or so from a pneumatic concrete breaker. Fair enough the 88dB/W often just applies to the loudness of a single test tone such as a sine wave at 1kHz, as opposed to full frequency range music, but still...

Now 25W is if course not 25x as loud as 1W: 10W is actually only twice as loud as 1W, and it would take 100W to be twice as loud again. However, 25W should still be uncomfortably loud for you when you're sat within three feet of a pair of efficient speakers.

Remember to treat your ears with respect, because you got them for life and there will be a time when you wished you'd taken more care of them.
It's not so much the difference in speaker sensitivity since 1.5db isn't that much, it's more when a speaker,amp combination sounds soft it almost never sound loud (mabye we relate to above avarage loud music with a more agressive sound and distortion) also songs recorded very low hardly ever sounds loud and loud recorded music almost at belov levels where you listen to news,talkshow........... sound LOUD,often 25 watt isn't enough when playing loud AS long as the sound is clean with no distortion,agressiveness.

My 30 i'sh watt in 8 ohm nad 3020i sounds big but it's easy to reach it's limit without the sound being ear bleeding loud

Now if i had 90-91db sensitive speaker that would be a whole different story, but 86.5-88db is just norml or belov avarage,normal sensistivity
 

lc155

New member
Nov 28, 2015
2
0
0
All I can say to the above is that if I turn my D3020 to where -40dB is bright my ears are ready to explode at extreme near-field.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,126
232
19,570
Does the sound get bright at -40 db ?

If so it might be that you reach a point as many amps has where it starts to sound bright,agressive, next level is distortion.

I have that to where i play at low volume the sound is a bit dark in the midrange , then when i try to play loud it kind of get's brighter, not that the my mission lx-2 are bright sounding but i want to turn the top about as much down as i want to turn the bass up. (longer distnace from the speakers the problem at high levels isn't that big)

I remember when the Nad D3020 was used with a pair of KEF LS50 (whathifi, can't find it on whahifi) they said it sounded very good but they wanted a bit more power than the nad amp had

I did once have a nad D3020 (hate how the old and new wolume knob feels it's way to firm,tight), can't remember which speakers i had mabye dali zensor 1 for my tv, i just remember that this combination nad D3020 (pc) and using the zensor 1 where to bright.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts